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A year ago.

 

Jungkook was out.

Until the sun rose, he’d find himself walking the streets just to catch the quiet song from the last remaining crickets. To find something that sparked some type of inspiration somewhere because he needed it bad, almost desperately. Making music meant jack shit when it made no sense, had no meaning. No roots.

So here he is, dragging calloused fingertips along a dirty wall, finding a tune in his footsteps and the flutter of leaves in wind blown trees. The neighborhood was quiet tonight, surprisingly, and it was almost unsettling. Boring.

He spoke too soon.

Rowdy laughter comes from his left, Jungkook barely managing to push into a brick wall to evade the shuffle and sprint of at least a group of four men. They’re running from something, hollering and snickering, their faces shrouded by the night’s cloudy sky and caps pulled low over their heads. They reminded him of the kids that used to chase him back in middle school, unruly and high off something they shouldn’t be doing. Jungkook knows that this side of town meant trouble, but even then he finds himself retracing those steps just for something to do. Maybe he’ll find something there that would make this night stroll worth it.

He steps into an alleyway with bags of trash littering the space and a flickering light barely clinging to the last static of electricity. The heaps of garbage that lay here were clearly tossed anywhere but in the trash, though some mishap of a shape catches his eye. Jungkook looks back, checks to see if the group might have returned. Surely they’d seen someone in the alleyway— or maybe it was just another bum that called this place a temporary home.

The man, he makes out, is not in any semblance of good shape. His eye is blistered with a furious pink glint and puffing up in size quick. Lips that already seemed plump are even more so, though now they’re covered in a splash of dark blood. Cracked open and oozing. It’s all too fresh.

“Shit,” Jungkook says, throwing out the last of a cigarette before he’s leaning down. His fingers tap at the stranger’s cheek, trying to shake him conscious. “You awake there? Hello?”

“Mm, fuck off,” the beaten stranger manages. It sounds pained, like speaking itself was a struggle.

Usually, he wouldn’t give a shit. When has he ever, really? It was easier not to. Jungkook sighs nonetheless - he’s already wasted his cigarette anyways. “Not a doctor or anythin’, but I’m pretty sure that needs stitches.”

Mr. Fuck Off’s fingers come up to probe at the busted lip he now sports and groans. Jungkook can’t make out much of the rest of his features in the dark, but he can see that he’s clearly pissed someone off. Pissed ‘em off enough they’ve left him in an alley to bleed out and bruise until he fought off the pain or someone else found him. “Alright,” he decides abruptly. Jungkook’s slinging his arm around the stranger’s waist, attempting to hoist him up and onto his feet. He’s lighter than Jungkook expected. “Come on. You ain’t gonna be awake for too long like this.”

“I’m fine, I’m fine.”

“You can be fine once you get a pack of frozen peas on your face,” Jungkook insists, tugging Mr. Fuck Off back through the alleyway. He’s met with little resistance because really, the guy’s too beat to do anything. Jungkook’s sure he’ll get some type of lecture for this, as he always did, but maybe his management will go easy on him now that he’s not the one with the busted, fucked up face.

When he finally manages to push the stranger onto his studio couch and turn on a light - he realizes that the guy is definitely gonna need some stitches. Whoever beat the shit out of him made sure it would hurt for a long enough.

“Here, use this,” Jungkook tells him, pushing a frozen bag of vegetables into his hands. With a wince, the stranger rests it against his lips, and then his temple. “Numb it a little while I call someone.”

“No need to call, I’ve had worse.”

Jungkook looks up over his phone, sending a quick text to his manager. “That’s not very reassuring considering I don’t know you. Were you just gonna lay there with an open wound?”

“Until I could walk, yeah.”

“Jesus christ.”

Silence falls between them, Mr. Fuck Off closing his eyes after he thunks his head against a cushion. Jungkook takes a moment to assess him. His clothes were ripped in places, his shirt in tatters— seeming more like a mauling than a little fight. Jungkook can see nail marks on his chest, can also make out a glint of ink on his side with words he can’t quite read. He’s surprised there’s still jewelry hanging from his figure. Silver around his neck, wrists, fingers. That expensive kind, too. It’s even in his ears.

“So, I take it you weren’t robbed,” Jungkook says. The stranger’s untouched eye peeks open. “They woulda stole your jewelry if it was, right?”

“Wasn’t robbed, no,” he draws, and then he’s squinting. Or trying to as best he can with one good eye. “Why’s it matter to you why someone beat my ass?”

For some reason it annoys Jungkook even though he’s been in the same position, said the exact same words to overly curious people with savior complexes. He reaches for another cigarette, can hear his vocal coach’s dismay in his head, and lights it up. “I dunno, Mr. Fuck Off, because you’re bleeding on my fucking couch?”

It takes a moment until the guy is sighing. “Nothin’ big. Some guys just don’t like losing bets.”



Yoongi didn’t appreciate being called to the studio so early in the morning, the sun barely peeking up over the horizon. The man enjoyed his sleep but after taking the job as Jungkook’s management, he realized that enjoyment wouldn’t matter when he’s up tracking him down the majority of the time. So, yeah, he wasn’t happy when he took one good look at Jungkook’s tired expression and the nameless man on the couch before he’s raking his fingers through his hair. “Seokjin will be in with stitches soon,” he tells the guy. “Mind telling me your name?”

It only takes a moment before the guy sighs out a response—Park Jimin, and for some reason it’s familiar, like he’s definitely heard it around somewhere or spoken between conversations at his dingy shows in the underground.

Yoongi frowns. “Jimin. The Jimin that’s been in the papers, Park Jimin?”

Jungkook can see Jimin’s jaw clench, his eyes slitting down like he’s lost a bit of everything. He just sees a blanketing exasperation instead, something far too familiar for Jungkook too. “If you’re gonna turn me in just tell me now so I got some time to run off. Not really having the best of luck tonight.”

“What do you mean The Jimin ?” Jungkook asks, wondering if he’d made a mistake in bringing him back, if maybe Jimin would have been better off back in the alleyway where he found him. Yoongi seems to contemplate for a moment, his brows pulling way down when he’s in deep thought. He looks over Jungkook once more before he’s turning back to Jimin, gaze raking across the damage to his body.

“Underground fighting is illegal, you know,” Yoongi says. “Jimin’s technically their new champion. Word got around because apparently Jimin here was a nobody that happened to take out somebody . And you know, underground fighting brings in big money. People bet thousands, sometimes millions, of won on fighters and Jimin took a lot of that when he took the championship."

Jungkook didn’t know much about the fighting rings, though he knew how rampant they were. He was pretty close to it, he supposed, with his music catering to the same crowd. The burnouts and hopeless that found a little life in the grimey sets literally underground, in between cement walls or in warehouses further out in the Guru District that weren’t ever updated for the IT industrial complex.

“He fights, who cares? We all gotta make money somehow, hyung. You know that.”

Yoongi shrugs, heads towards Jungkook’s table to steal a cigarette. He hesitates briefly before he takes another and tucks it behind his ear for later. “Still a criminal though, especially now that the people who want him hurt for losing them a lot of money leaked his name to authorities.”

“So what, you’re obviously not turning me in,” Jimin says, sounding bored, sounding like he wants to be anywhere but here. “Not my fault their champion forgot how to duck because he got cocky. I won fair and square.”

“Is anything fair when you’re fighting in secret, Jimin?” Yoongi drawls, sucking down his newly lit cigarette. He takes a spot near Jungkook. “I didn’t have any intention of turning you in just yet. Not when we’d benefit more with you outside of a prison cell. It’s my lucky day, really. Been looking for someone like you.”

Jimin watches Yoongi carefully. “What do you want?”

Yoongi hesitates for only a moment, flicking his cigarette to rid of collecting ash before he's leaning up. "Your capabilities," he tells him simply. "Or, Jungkook needs them, mostly."

"What?"

" What ?"

Both Jungkook and Jimin respond at the same time - and Jungkook, mostly, doesn't understand why he'd need someone like Jimin around. Why would a fighter be of any use to him anyways? He made music in lousy studios, nothing that truly warranted protection.

"You know how it is, Jungkook," Yoongi tells him quietly, shooting him a glance that seems to shut up any attempt to say something. "Being a male omega. And not just a male omega, but one that seeks stardom. What exactly do you think would happen if someone were to find out? You think people wouldn't try to slander you, hurt you? Think about all the people that already have a problem with you."

Jungkook knew that presenting as an omega was already looked down upon, the stereotype that they were weak and needed a mate to protect them. It didn't help that men were rarely presented as them, either. His image was already one in desperate need of reform, with his attitude and flare in his music. Jungkook wasn't afraid to use music as his weapon, though the underground scene wasn't exactly tolerant of it. He's made his enemies, he knows, and even more so now that's he's presented. "I take suppressants," Jungkook mumbles, trying to look anywhere but at Jimin. "Besides, I think you've forgotten that I was the one who saved him from the streets."

“Doesn’t matter, he’s got the experience, Jungkook,” Yoongi says, silencing him with a glare. He turns back to Jimin then, hoping to convince him, probably. “Jungkook’s pissed people off, and his presenting doesn’t help us none. You let me hire you as a guard, and I’ll protect you from your own enemies. You don’t even have to pay a penny to stay here.” 

Jimin squints through his bruised eye. “I don’t know, I don’t usually take handouts.” 

“It’s an equal exchange, Jimin. Unless the next time you’d like to be found in an alley, you’re dead. This is your best shot.” 

“Alright, christ. You don’t have to say it like that.” 

Yoongi shrugs. “Reality is a bitch sometimes. Just keep my client safe and — I shouldn’t have to tell you this but, the minute you fuck up or try to fight again, the minute I give you back to those blood thirsty fuckers. Understood?” 

The look on Jimin’s face, Jungkook thinks, says it’s very understood. 

 

***

Present

 

The smell of too much beer and soju is pungent the more Jimin pushes through the crowd, trying to sift through all the overwhelming scents that infiltrate through his nostrils. He’s looking for one in particular, trying to pick apart every moving body just running all over themselves. Little ants, all one big, blurring motion. Jimin can barely see past the strobing lights and he wonders why the fuck anyone would find enjoyment in any of this.

Perhaps that was the tick of it all— the burn in your nose and the blinding vision. Some kind of high that came with loss of control, like being in some dizzy circle or one of those horror houses with faux mirrors and a slanting moving floor. Jimin hated it, though. It threw everything off.

“Min,” he hears behind him, a giggled slur that let a wave of relief flood through his body. There’s arms wrapping around his neck, tight enough to cause Jimin to fumble. He barely manages to catch onto the wall before he feels hot breath along his neck. “Min.”

Jimin turns to face a very drunk Jungkook, his long hair drenched in sweat and pushed off of his forehead. He’s wearing one of Jimin’s old hoodies for some reason, and no wonder he’s sweating through it all. Jimin’s glad he’s taken his scent suppressors, or else the entire club would smell of that spicy-sweet pink pepper and jasmine that assaults his senses. “Party’s shit,” he tells Jungkook, fingers clutching along the too hot fabric clinging to Jungkook’s skin. “Let’s go home.”

“You used to love parties,” he murmurs defensively, though his limbs are so limp from alcohol he can’t even draw away when Jimin manages to lift him up on his back. Jimin inwardly thanks the bartender for once, because otherwise a struggling Jungkook would be far too heavy on him. Even with that little bit of alpha strength he’d been blessed with, he was still no match for an omega like Jungkook. He can still hear Jungkook groan nonetheless, though surprisingly, he doesn’t fight Jimin’s grip. “I’m drunk not limbless, you fucker.”

Jimin grins. “Drunk and limbless are synonymous for you.”

Jungkook’s head rests into the crook of Jimin’s neck, sighing idly as Jimin carries him back from the thrum of the club. Jungkook technically wasn’t supposed to be out— but Jimin’s learned over the course of a year he’s worked for the company that Jungkook also didn’t care for any of his management team’s regulations. Even went as far as to purposefully ignore them. “You’re gonna get an earful from Yoongi later,” he tells him quietly. “You know it’s dangerous to go out, let alone without me. Was looking for you for hours.”

“I don’t need saving,” Jungkook bites back, though there’s no force behind all those slippery words. “No one knows what I am with the suppressants.”

“Still, you got a photo shoot tomorrow. When you have a raging headache, don’t complain to me,” Jimin tells him, earning another groan in response. Jungkook was always verging on whiny when he was drunk, and he squeezes around Jimin’s neck, nuzzling in soft. His nose brushes against the glands beneath Jimin’s ear, slurring something under his breath that’s far too muddled with alcohol to make out.

When Jimin can finally sneak them back home, it takes all his strength to pry Jungkook’s hands from around his neck. The omega, along with whiny, also grew rather keen on touch with alcohol in his system. There’s a slew of sounds falling from his mouth as Jimin practically wrestles him under the blankets, giving him a cup of water to calm him back down. Although Jimin doesn’t mind it, he sometimes misses how Jungkook was before - back when he didn’t care for a babysitter , as he’d called Jimin. At least then he could walk away from Jungkook without his scent clinging to his skin like perfume.

“Jimin,” Jungkook calls, voice still noticeably slurred. He’s pushing back up to his elbows to search through the dark room. “Why aren't you staying?”

“Because, you smell bad and I need to workout before bed anyways."

Jimin manages to find Jungkook's gaze in the barely lit room, watches as his eyes blink sleepily back at him. "You're always training," the omega murmurs, voice scratchy and soft. "As if you're gonna lose what you know. Will you at least teach me in the morning?"

He pitter-patters over to Jungkook, tells him he’s got him, as he’s pushing him back into the mattress. Urging him to sleep. He knows he's only trying to keep Jimin here, trying to prompt him into bed like he always does. Jungkook didn't like to sleep alone, always wanted something curled around him or something to hold. Jimin tried not to make it a habit, however. "Can't train without proper rest, Kook," he reminds him, enunciating the pull of blankets up to his chin. Jungkook gives him a twisted look before he's rolling over, face mushed into pillows, a huff breathing past his lips.

"Fine. Other side of the bed is yours if you want it."

***

 

Jungkook wakes to the thud of boxing gloves thrown against him. They're heavy enough to snap his eyes awake from the depth of sleep, leaving him confused until he finds them in his periphery. A cracked groan complains from his dry throat. 

He finds Jimin looming above him, headband pushing back his sweat drenched hair and tape wrapped around his hands. Jungkook's head feels just as heavy as the gloves he'd been assaulted with, his fingers already reaching for the lukewarm glass of water on the nightstand. Jungkook can hear Jimin's faint laugh from the other side of the room, and then outside lights are blinding him awake further. "Hope your headache isn't too bad," he hears Jimin tell him. "We have to train and then you have a photo shoot later tonight."

"Don't remind me," Jungkook sighs, pushing the blankets from his side. "You look like you've already started without me."

"Just a warm up, Jungkook-ssi. Wash up and I'll meet you downstairs. There's granola on the table too."

Jimin leaves with a tender smile, Jungkook watching him push back strands of hair the headband failed to contain. He remembers he'd fallen asleep in Jimin's hoodie, though the comforting scent has long since faded away and been replaced with his own. He tosses it off, substituting it with a plain black shirt and some shorts. After swallowing down the banana granola, Jungkook meets Jimin in the gym downstairs. 

He'd practically demanded it from Yoongi for Jimin's sake, knew that he wouldn't have felt comfortable without something familiar to keep him grounded. Jungkook takes a moment to watch him jump around a punching bag, feet light and fists swinging with an indisputable power. It's a familiar sight, Jungkook opting to sometimes watch him rather than participate. Jimin was usually so gentle, his hands careful compared to what they're doing now. The change in his body when he fought was something Jungkook could admire for hours. He wondered what he'd looked like the night he'd won the title of champion. If he appeared as angry as he did now, or if his face sagged in elation. 

He's landing kicks to the bag too, strong enough it sends the bag flying. There's something frustrating about him right now, like he's beating something out of himself, trying to inflict it on what's in front of him. 

Jungkook clears his throat until Jimin finally notices he's not alone anymore. 

His cheeks are pink from exertion, dark eyes moving across the gym to find Jungkook's staring ones. He doesn't ask how long he's been there, having grown used to Jungkook lingering around without question. "Do you remember what we went over last week?"

"You taught me basics, yeah. Jabs and crosses and stances. I remember."

Jimin smiles. "Good. Show me."

And this part was his favorite, Jungkook finds. When Jimin helps him wrap tape over his sore knuckles and the sweat has drawn his scent out. The same one he tucked into often, buried into his clothes and sheets. They don't talk about it, Jimin probably writing it off as an omega thing he doesn't understand. And Jungkook doesn’t offer an explanation even though it’s clear as day. 

Jungkook watches how softly he touches him now, like Jimin sees him as delicate even though he knows Jungkook is anything but. "You don't need the gloves today," he tells him quietly, patting over the finished wraps. "Just show me what you've practiced."

Jungkook does so, first on the punching bag, his hits not quite as powerful as Jimin's but still sending the grain filled thing swaying. Jimin watches him tentatively from the side, managing his movements and correcting where he needs it. Jungkook loved these little sessions, when Jimin wasn't risking his life for him or too focused on their surroundings. It's not as if they've had much of a run in with trouble, not really, as most people hadn't quite figured out that Jungkook was an omega. They'd all most likely assumed he'd been a beta and had left him alone. Such assumptions were better than anything else, especially with the way omegas were still treated. Like meager servants and only satisfying as mates - like the bottom of the whole food chain. People wouldn't receive Jungkook as an omega very well, wouldn't want their competition in the music industry to be someone they regarded as weak.

But that's something he liked about his training, too. How Jimin didn't treat him differently or like he couldn't handle the heat. Aside from the soft touches, which he knew was just a Jimin thing, Jimin pushes him like he would anyone else. He has to remind himself that the world still clung to stereotypes, but there were still people like Jimin and Yoongi who rejected them. Who believed in him and what he was doing for himself and -

"What are you thinking so hard about?" Jungkook hears, Jimin's voice lilting up in amusement. "Really going at it today."

"Just how much I'd love to deck pieces of shit in the face, but how that's your job and not mine."

The laugh he receives in return is light, and Jungkook soon feels hands grazing his shoulder. "You're doing good. Think you'd wanna learn some dodges today?"

Jungkook pants out a yes, channeling his patience as Jimin teaches him how to move his body. There's hands swaying his hips and shoulders and hands, trying to walk the omega through the movements until he feels comfortable on his own. It's odd moving in such precise ways, but Jimin was a surprisingly good teacher. Patient and thorough when Jungkook works through slips and ducks a little awkwardly at first. 

Soon after, though, Jimin's standing before him, eyes catching his as he takes the first swing. It's slow, which agitates Jungkook because he wants to learn with Jimin working full force , but he knows he'd never allow it. Would say something about baby steps like he always does. Jungkook just responds with his own jab, much to Jimin's surprise, even though he dodges it as easily as he’d predicted. 

Amusement brightens Jimin's eyes and Jungkook craves more of it, delivers another punch that has Jimin moving around him to evade it. "Gonna take it out on me now, huh?" the alpha taunts, feet shuffling as Jungkook chases right him. There's a playful smile on his lips when he goes in for a quicker throw, though this time Jimin grabs at his arm and swings him in. It's a whirlwind of movement, and with a choked gasp he's pulled right against Jimin's chest, arms twisted across one another and completely immobilizing him. Even though Jimin was much shorter and slimmer than Jungkook, he was still no match for the years of training under his belt. He struggles only momentarily, feels Jimin tighten his hold on his arms. "This isn't a boxing move."

"No," Jimin confirms, his tone smug. "Getting a little cocky there aren't you?"

"You don't think I could take you?"

"You sound like me when I was first learning. Had down the basics and thought I ruled the world," he chuckles, the deep sound reverberating directly into his ear and catalysing Jungkook's skin to goose bump. It was one of his favorite sounds, so much so he’s even imagined what it would sound like on a track. And maybe more, maybe Jimin’s breathy sighs and the noises he lets out when he’s training. 

Jimin seems to notice the slight shiver going through his body, his grip on Jungkook's wrists loosening the same time his own figure stiffens. Jungkook hadn't even registered just how sweaty he'd gotten from the workout, had forgotten how scents were much stronger after body exertion. However, Jimin noticed. Of course he did. "Did you take suppressants?"

"I was going to after training," he tells him, though he makes no attempt to move away from Jimin. His alpha scent was so heady in Jungkook’s nose, just sweet enough to soothe the spice. Overwhelming . It was another reason he liked to watch Jimin train, when he worked up a sweat and the gym smelled of only Jimin. It wasn't an omega thing, as much as the alpha tried to understand. Jungkook was just drawn to his scent like a moth to flame, had been since he'd found him in the alleyway a year ago and brought him back to his home. "Does it bother you?"

Jimin clears his throat, the hard press of his chest finally pulling away from Jungkook. He’s avoiding his eyes, electing to cast over to the line of equipment instead. "You should shower," he says, ignoring Jungkook's question like he always did. "Gotta leave for the photo shoot soon anyways."

Jungkook contemplates saying something, anything, but he knows Jimin wouldn’t hear it. He leaves with a flush to his neck, but doesn't stick around to see the same flourish on Jimin.

 

***

Powder is set across his nose, the hired stylists fussing over the makeup they’ve applied. Tired fingers swat their brushes away, Jungkook quietly murmuring about how he’s not an idol . Jimin is watching from the other side of the room, settled against one of the tables with an amused expression lilting his lips. His dark features are illuminated by the bright fluorescent lights they use in stark white for styling stations, softening his angles. He always found Jungkook’s annoyance with all of this pretty shit to be funny, apparently, because he grins when Jungkook shoots him a glare. 

“What do you expect? All that training you did earlier scratched your face,” Jimin says, shuffling over to brush his thumb against an angry mark across his cheek. He nearly expects Jimin’s touch to be scratchy, but his thumb is surprisingly soft against his skin. They’d been practicing a little rough, admittedly. Jungkook growing brave when he’d jabbed and Jimin giving his own, testing, testing . The stylists had nearly thrown a fit upon seeing him, but Jungkook’s shoot was meant to be quick anyways, just some extra cash on the side. He wasn’t a proper model, anyways, but he was apparently attractive enough for it. His real passion was music.

“Just wanna go home quickly,” he sighs, head tilting into Jimin’s lingering touch. For a moment he thinks that Jimin might give him more, something soft to melt his edged sides. But instead, Jimin’s eyes flash unreadable and the warmth of his hand disappears. Of course, Jungkook had grown to anticipate this, has learned to swallow disappointment down his angry throat. “I’ll go,” he says, a bit bitter, and Jimin’s mouth opens briefly as if to say something - but Jungkook decides he doesn’t want to know. 


Tilt your head, Jungkook-ssi. Give us a little smile, won’t you? 

Hands over your head.

Snap. 

Snap. 

Cameras are greedy little things. Nearly blinding his vision with their flashes, the cameraman enthusiastically guiding him into various poses. He tries to smile, but something feels off. Maybe it’s Jimin’s looming presence in the corner of the shoot, or the chirpy voice of the photographer moving him around like a doll. Jungkook can’t pinpoint it, but every movement sent a hot rush through his body. He barely pushes through the first shoot, though the lights begin to hurt his vision enough he has to step away. 

Jimin follows like a loyal shadow, his face pinched as Jungkook presses a towel to his forehead. He feels warm, abnormally warm. 

“You’re pale,” Jimin notes, the back of his hand lingering against his head. “And hot.” 

Jungkook tries to smirk. “Thank you.” 

It earns him an unamused glare. Jimin takes the towel he’d been pressing to his forehead, dabbing it down Jungkook’s neck. “I’m serious. Maybe we should postpone the next shoot, Jungkookie.” 

“Yoongi would kill me,” he insists, already stepping away from Jimin’s observant eye. He turns to the clothes racket to bring the shirt he’s wearing up over his shoulders, and Jimin watches him quietly fumble for the next piece he’s to wear. His skin is sheened in sweat, but he tries to convince himself it’s just nerves. He hasn’t had a solid schedule ever since he’s taken a break to level out his suppressants. They took months to work, and Yoongi had assured that in his time off, he’d be able to work on music instead of worrying about anyone finding out that he was an omega. Better to be patient than have everything ruined, Jungkook, Yoongi said. Too many judgmental eyes that would love to keep omegas from any position of success or power. 

He should be thankful that someone like Yoongi would even try to fight the shitty stigma against omegas in the first place. So, he stopped arguing. Let Yoongi take care of the rest. 

Jungkook finishes dressing himself and meets the photographer back to his set. This one is just as bright, and already Jungkook can feel his body fighting the urge to run away. Every click was amplified in his head, dizzying his thinking. 

For a moment Jungkook assumes he’s just dehydrated, like maybe it was just his body beginning to grow delirious for sustenance. The dizzy spells, hot flashes shooting up his back, sticky fingers. But then come the scents. He’s always had a sensitive nose, though the suppressants dim it a bit. Make it possible to not feel nearly allergic to whatever scent he’s exposed to. Now, however, they assault his nose, and Jungkook chokes. It all comes at once, different things that force his hand up in an attempt to block it all out. 

Sweet cherries. Salt water. Caramel and coffee. Salt and pepper. 

It’s nauseating, this unsavory mix. He doesn’t even notice that Jimin is there immediately until he’s pushing the bright white lights away and leaning close to Jungkook. “Kook,” he whispers, hands smoothing over his arms. Drawing him down. “Let’s move to the dressing room.” 

Jungkook lets Jimin tug him away into the quiet of the back room. The scents aren’t as strong here, but Jimin’s is. Instinctively, he brushes his nose into the shirt Jimin is wearing, lets it wash away the nauseating smells from before. He doesn’t know when he became so attached to it - or why. Perhaps it was just because Jimin was a constant presence now, something he associated with protection. Someone he’s lived so close to, has let himself appear vulnerable to. “Feel like shit,” he breathes. 

“Look it too,” Jimin chuckles, steadying Jungkook by his shoulders. “When’s the last time you had your heat?”

“Heat?”

Jimin’s brows lift. “You’re showing every single sign of a pre-heat, Kook. Did you forget your schedule?”

He hated that word. Heat . The implications of it, the humiliating way that Jimin would know what it entailed. It was a part of them, he knew that, but it didn’t make it easier. “I uh. Well, I - shit,” Jungkook curses, fingers raking down his face. “It’s not until next week but I - I dunno. Something must have triggered it.” 

You must have triggered it, Jungkook wants to say. The training hadn’t helped with Jimin so close, with his arms wrapped around him and violating his senses. And then before that, with Jungkook wrapped inside his clothes even when he’d tucked into bed. Jimin must sense the unspoken reason because he’s putting some distance between them, busying his hands to grasp Jungkook’s belongings. Water is being shoved into his palms, and Jimin is taking his face between his hands. “Stay here then, alright? Being here isn’t gonna help anyone. I’ll just go talk to the photographer and manager real quick.” 

***

Jungkook doesn’t know how long Jimin has been gone. 

Jungkook’s breath is ragged, body sweating profusely through his clothes now. His heats were always frustratingly unbearable, that delirious need inching up his skin, underneath it, swallowing him whole. The suppressants barely did their job now, Jungkook electing to breathe into the cuff of his shirt. With Jimin gone, the panic had set in. 

Jungkook hated this part of being an omega, his body control deteriorating. He’s out back now, trying to catch his breath in the cooler alleyway, back pressed tight against the brick wall of the building. Jungkook managed to send a quick text to Jimin to tell him where he’d gone, shaky fingers sliding over the buttons from the feverish warmth. 

Briefly, he thinks about ripping the extra fabric from his skin. It’s stuck to his body already, the expensive outfit surely ruined by now. An agitated groan bubbles past his lips, and quietly, he urges Jimin to hurry up. 

Throughout the whole year they've been around one another, he hoped that Jimin would never have to deal with him like this. It was always something he could anticipate, track, keep hidden. He’d specifically asked Jimin to leave when the weeks counted down, though the alpha had insisted multiple times that he could be of help. Not the way I need, he’d thought to himself, though had bitten such need back from voicing. Jimin must have already known, though, how could he not? 

The door opens and Jungkook sighs, elated. 

“Jimin, fucking finally, I - “

A laugh sounds in his ear, followed by others. 

It wasn’t Jimin. 

“So you’re the bitch that Jimin ran off with?” Jungkook hears, his head snapping up to find the faces unfamiliar. It’s a group of three, all decked in leather and jackets. Older than him, but nearly around Jimin’s age, probably, give a few years. The fact that they knew of Jimin itself was alarming, considering the people that he’d involved himself with previously. “Was wondering where our champion ran off to. Why nobody could find him after the alley incident. Kind of ironic I found the person protecting him in an alley, isn’t it?” 

“What do you want?” Jungkook asks, his glassy eyes slitting. He can smell immediately that they’re alphas, and certainly not the kind that Jungkook wanted to be around pre-heat. Those that found lone omegas as punching bags and toys. A sliver of fear runs down his spine, though he keeps composed. He’s dealt with taunting men and even swinging punches more times that he count, his reputation following him like a proud shadow. It was the whole reason Jimin had become his guard. 

The men are sizing him up, pushing uncomfortably close with their curious noses. They can probably smell the heat on him, the anger, the want. At this point, he couldn’t even count on his suppressants to mask it all. The men all grin one by one, as if they’ve figured it out. 

Jungkook should make a run for it. 

“There were rumors that he’d found himself a mate, but I don't see a mark on you. Surely he didn’t leave you to the wolves on the street during a heat, hm?” The leader taunts, eyes glimmering like he’s found a whole pot of gold. Jungkook’s jaw clenches, fists balling up. He knows he’s in no position to take on three alphas at once, especially in this condition. “Can smell him on you, though. Think you’re worth all the money he got from me, omega?” 

“Think we should find out?” Another man laughs, surrounding him. Jungkook tenses, waiting for another step to draw closer before he starts swinging. He could take down at least one of these bastards before the others even knew what happened. Training for hours had taught him enough, his muddled brain recollecting all the ways Jimin had taught him how to move, how to dodge and twist, to punch. 

The door opens as soon as his arm lifts. 

Jimin pauses momentarily, taking in the three alphas moving closer to Jungkook. “Jae,” he snaps. His words are sharp and clearly agitated, though still impressively collected. “Leave him alone. You wouldn’t hurt anyone in broad daylight.” 

The leader — Jae , smiles before he's shrugging. “Even I’m not that stupid, Jimin. Though I thought he’d put up a little more of a fight, but considering…” 

Jimin walks over steadily - and Jungkook has only seen him like this a few times before. When he thinks someone may pose a threat, lingering too close, watching too hard. Trying to figure Jungkook out. But despite that, it’s still somewhat of a shock to watch the intensity shape Jimin’s features when a clearer threat looms so near. How he steps close enough to Jungkook he can feel his hand graze carefully against his, some kind of tender reassurance. Jungkook wasn’t weak by any means, but even a group of underground fighters were far out of his league. Jungkook bites his tongue.

“What do you want?” Jimin asks, echoing Jungkook’s earlier question, cutting straight to the point. They both know Jungkook’s condition is worsening - his suppressants can only hide the scent for so long before it’s suffocating in their noses. “I’m not paying anyone fairly lost money. Be more careful who you bet on in the future.” 

Jae’s jaw clenches, the other men shuffling behind him in silent fury. It seems they aren’t quite over the sum of money Jimin took from them, this entire meeting appearing more as some sort of vengeance than anything else. Jungkook half expects them to start throwing punches despite how light outside it is, but they just stare for a moment before smiling, mouth bending up into something ugly and taunting. “You’ve been challenged, Jimin. They want you back in the circle,” Jae tells him, though his words fall out too chippy. Too excited. 

“I don’t fight anymore,” is all Jimin says.

“Oh but you do. Should have thought about that before you became champion. You know our circle laws - a challenged champion must fight.” 

Jimin ponders for a moment, lips pressed into a thin line. Jae doesn’t need to say anything else, however, because the way he’s looking at Jimin seems threatening enough. Some unspoken ‘ or else’ behind his gaze, his words. Jungkook’s own fingers rub circles into Jimin’s wrist, reciprocating the reassurance even though he’s sure nothing could quite soothe the idea of fighting these people again. Jungkook has to remind himself this wasn’t his fight or argument and he knows any biting remark would only worsen the situation. “Jimin,” he murmurs, a warning, squeezing at his skin. 

He knows Yoongi would never let this happen, but Jimin clearly had a plan of his own. It doesn’t take him long to ponder, his eyes casting back to Jungkook’s wearily before he’s focusing on Jae’s again. 

“I understand the rules,” he grits out. “I’ll do it.”

Jae beams, a hand coming to clamp across Jimin’s shoulder in some faux display of companionship. Jungkook immediately tenses. “I’ll see you in the ring then, Champ.” 

With that, he tosses Jungkook a wink before he’s whistling off. Jungkook waits until the men are rounding the corner and to the street before his thoughts tumble out. 

“Jimin, you can’t. Yoongi will stop protecting you. He might even turn your ass in.” 

Jimin finally faces him, gaze flickering across Jungkook’s expression, his flushed cheeks and trembling fingers. The heat was approaching quickly but all he cared about was Jimin’s situation, so like him it hurt. The alpha smiles, uses his sleeve to pat away excess sweat along Jungkook’s neck. “We’ll talk about it later,” he tells him, brushing off the disgruntled noises from Jungkook. “You and Yoongi can't get in the way of something like this, Kook-ah. You think they buffed up to you for no reason?” 

“But -“

A finger presses to Jungkook’s lips, Jimin attempting to silence the argument he knows he wants to have. But Jungkook’s mind immediately fizzles, the obnoxious heat consuming his thought processes. His tongue flicks against Jimin’s finger, both in retaliation to the childish display and because he wanted to taste. Jimin’s breath hitches before he’s drawing his finger away. “Let’s just get you home.” 

Jungkook lets Jimin push extra fabric over his skin, and though it’s far too hot, he reminds him that his smell was beginning to sweat through the suppressants. An omega in heat in public was only asking for trouble, with Jimin already having to push too close to keep lingering eyes away from him. It’s humiliating, Jungkook thinks, though he can’t do much about it like this. Usually, he’d bite back a response, scare away all those hungry eyes, but his mind is too fuzzy now. Too saturated with need. Jimin keeps him sober as much as he possibly can. 

They take a cab, Jungkook being pushed into the seat and Jimin following after. It reminds him of the night he’d taken Jungkook from the club, his figure inching close and dipping into his neck. Jungkook can brush it off later, but the truth is that he craves the scent Jimin emanates. His sensitive nose couldn’t handle the mix of so many combating smells from the walk to the car, wanting to desperately dive into something else. Something to calm his racing heart.

“Hate this,” he practically whines, embarrassed. 

There’s fingers in his hair, nails scraping against his scalp just as he likes. Jungkook shudders, the sensation that used to lull him to sleep only worsening the coil in his stomach. “Hyung,” he murmurs, leaning in, in. It doesn’t take long before his nose is not so harshly overwhelmed, instead full of Jimin. He’s always been his favorite scent. “Won’t leave me this time will you?” he asks. 

And he’s not even sure if he’s asking about the heat, or the fight. Because Jungkook knows that the circle has wanted Jimin out and he couldn’t imagine the alpha not being by his side. Couldn’t imagine Yoongi letting him stick around if he were to go back to the very place he warned him of. Neither of them have forgotten the threat - had been careful to avoid trouble just to keep Jimin safe.

Jimin’s voice is soft against his ear, though, tickling his hair. “I’m right here, I got you,” he tells him, fingers rubbing circles down into the back of Jungkook’s neck. He’s too tense there, the muscles taut and hurting. Jungkook wants to argue that it’s not what he meant, but he knows Jimin knows. He knows Jimin is brushing it off - as he usually does when he doesn’t quite have an answer yet. 




Jungkook is practically tugged back into the apartment, Jimin ushering him into the sheets of his bed. Jungkook flushes the entire time he’s helping him out of his shirt, the fabric sticky and hot and uncomfortable. It’s replaced with a clean one and even though Jungkook would have rather had one of Jimin’s, he lets it pass. 

“What do you need?” Jimin hums, his voice husky but his eyes attentive. Jungkook knows this must be as hard for Jimin as it is for him with his scent stronger, touches lingering. But Jimin - he’d never hurt him. Jimin strokes his hair back and heads into the kitchen for a few bottles of water upon request. “Is it true omegas need a nest?”

Jungkook snorts. “No, I’m still not sure where that rumor came from. We enjoy pleasant scents but that’s - that’s everyone too.” 

Jimin nods, pushes a bottle of water into Jungkook’s hands. “If you need anything, I’ll be here.” 

Before he has the opportunity to leave, Jungkook’s hands shoot out, wraps tight around his wrist. “Hyung, wait. In the cab - I meant it. You won’t leave will you?”

“I don’t think this is a good time -“ 

“They’ll kill you, Jimin. You can’t go back and you know it. I can like - I can see it in your eyes. You always get this look in them when you know things are bad,” Jungkook starts, fingers squeezing. “Yoongi wouldn’t even be able to protect you if you did. Those people - shut up, don’t talk - those people almost left you for dead before. You think they’ll let you off with a little fight this time?” 

Jimin’s anger is quiet, tense in his jaw and the set of his lips. It’s been there since the encounter with Jae, underneath the tender care he’s given Jungkook. Now, though, it lets itself show. “I don’t have a choice,” he resolves. For a moment it’s silent, and then Jimin’s face is falling. “God I’m so… stupid to think I could run, you know. That this opportunity could somehow throw it all away.” 

“It can.” 

Jimin shakes away Jungkook’s fingers. “Once you join the circle, you’re in until they decide otherwise. I shouldn’t have gotten greedy with the fucking championship but shit, I needed the money. And I can’t run now, not after they - they know about you.” 

Jungkook sits up, tossing away the overheating fucking blankets. He shuffles closer to Jimin, making his presence known. “So what if they do?” 

“You think they’ll let you off with a little chat?” Jimin asks, mimicking Jungkook’s previous words. It’s mean, but the truth still stings . Jae had been sizing him up, and they both know why. “They want their money back, and if they don’t get it this way, they’ll get it another. Besides, you don’t need babysitting, remember?” 

Jungkook hates his words being thrown back at him, especially these. Jungkook didn’t consider him a babysitter anymore - Jimin knew that. He knew too well. “I want you to stay,” he says, soft but still insistent. “I want you.” 

Jimin’s fingers move up, rest against Jungkook’s heated cheek. He hasn’t ever mentioned the feelings he’s grown over the course of the year they’d been together, not ever. Probably because he knew Jimin had shit to work through, his eyes too deep and distant when they weren’t on Jungkook. Holding back all the shit he’s yet to work out. 

But now, Jungkook couldn’t let it stay hidden. Not if it meant Jimin giving up his security again - both from those that want him hurt and the authorities waiting to take him in. He at least needed him to know before he ran off. “That’s just,” Jimin tries, watching Jungkook lean into his touch. “The heat.” 

“Shut up, it's not. I’m aware of my needs and my words, asshole,” Jungkook bites. It took years to control the overwhelming wave of heat clouding his thoughts and actions, but he wouldn’t let something biological take away his control. “Don’t dismiss what I’m saying again, Hyung.” 

Jungkook takes Jimin’s smaller, yet sturdier hands into his. They fit nice and it’s - it’s funny, really. How Jimin was this small person but his presence was so heavy. Engulfing, settling over like a weighted blanket. Even now, when he meets his eyes again, this time they’re enough to shake Jungkook to his core. He has so much hidden there, something quiet but with impact. 

“I want you,” he repeats, bringing Jimin’s hands up to his cheek again. This time he leans into it, eyes closing, feeling the beginning calluses on Jimin’s palm. Feels Jimin’s gaze on him running shivers up his spine. He doesn’t know when it shifts - if it’s because Jimin’s scared and needs a distraction, or if maybe those feelings are there too, but he leans in. 

The kiss is hesitant, lips bumping and testing one another. Jungkook tingles, feels it vibrate down and down until it reaches his toes. He hasn’t been touched, or kissed, for far too long. Jimin’s other hand moves to cup beneath his chin, draws Jungkook in a little deeper. He discovers that Jimin kisses careful but not , tongue gliding over Jungkook’s bottom lip just to have a little taste. He’s eager to meet him halfway, a shallow breath breathing past his lips. He’s always wondered what Jimin would taste like - if he was sweet on his tongue or just as heady as his scent. 

Jungkook likes the wet slide, likes the sensation of Jimin’s experienced touch.

Hands are pushing him against the sheets again with a new fervor, Jimin’s mouth not yet leaving his. It’s a crescendo, building slow and then higher, delving into something deeper and something messy. It’s as if Jimin’s just as affected with Jungkook’s heat, as if his searing touch draws out the same need. And not just that, but everything else too. The looming future, the fight he’s been threatened with. It all pushes them together, into something dipped in longing. 

“Shirt, shirt,” Jungkook’s mumbling in whiny drawls between kisses, Jimin’s palms gripping the fabric and tugging it away. Those calloused fingers feel even better moving down his sides, rough against his pert nipples, smoothing over them again and again. Jungkook’s breath hitches when he finally draws away, gasping down a lungful of air. “Shit, no, don't fucking stop.”

Jimin’s mouth is pushed into his neck, heavy and hot. Jungkook keens, high and overwhelmed, when Jimin’s fingers pinch against his nipples just like Jungkook wants. It’s almost infuriating how Jimin doesn’t say anything, likes to give him everything in confident quiet. He was never someone who spoke as unfiltered as Jungkook, anyways. But he feels him breathe unsteady against his skin, feels how hard Jimin is against his ass when he knocks his legs apart. 

“Please, just - stop teasing me,” Jungkook chokes, though it only earns a bit of teeth grazing his neck, fingers hooking into his jeans to tug them down. It’s evident how much he’s affected if the obvious slick is anything to go by, the briefs he’s wearing nearly ruined. Jimin draws back to rest on his knees, touch dropping to massage at Jungkook’s inner thighs. 

“You always this wet?” he asks, eyes level and black. Jungkook manages to turn his face into the pillow, the question fucking humiliating . He acts as if Jungkook hasn’t been clinging to his scent for a year now, diving into his sheets and clothes. Hasn’t been trying to get as close as possible since the night before. 

Jimin’s watching him stutter on his words, busies himself with pushing the ruined fabric down to his ankles. Being in front of him like this, naked next to how clothed he is, feels vulnerable. It was hot, though. Hot how Jimin regards him carefully, eyes drinking in the curve of his figure, hands groping the skin at his thighs until his nails dig in. It’s a miracle he manages a quiet- “ I just really like your scent. ” 

Jimin’s mouth twitches into a smile as he reaches for his own zipper with his free hand, relieving the strain that bulges through the denim. 

“Hyung, the drawer.” 

It’s breathy and impatient but Jimin leans over far enough to rummage through. He brings the rubber he retrieves up to his teeth to tear, but hesitates for a moment. 

“What? Why are you - I'm stretched,” Jungkook practically whines. “C’mon.” 

Jimin’s leaning over him, let’s his weight press against his body. It’s suffocating but so good, being surrounded by Jimin like this. Lips brush light against his pursed ones, a hot rush of words after. “Shh, I got you.”  

Those same fucking words — 

Jungkook gasps when a finger pushes into his hole, sinking in until the knuckle with a wet squelch. Jimin groans, something deep and pleased. “Fuck,” he breathes against Jungkook’s lips, crooking the finger up. He pushes in a second easily and then a third, mouth moving to suck against Jungkook’s ear. 

The fingers already fucking him are thick and insistent, rubbing right against his walls, stretching him the furthest more. He always knew Jimin would have nice fingers, imagined how they’d fill him up. He’d spent countless hours watching him bandage his knuckles and fingers when he trained, fixated on how pretty they were even bruised. “Fucked myself after the - fuck, hyung, yeah yeah, right there - after the training.” 

It seems to urge Jimin on, his movements faster but never ceasing that steady, controlled pace. He has half a mind to squeeze his eyes shut, ride the wave building - and god, fuck , Jungkook was crashing way too fast. Feels it surge, his cock twitching helpless against his stomach. He’s so wound up he doesn't even need to touch himself. A hand moves to grasp at Jimin’s wrist, a plea to stop before he actually comes without even getting him properly. “Hyung, hyung I’m ready. Can you just, just fuck me.” 

But Jimin takes his time, fingers moving slow despite the grip on his, wet sounds heating Jungkook’s face even further. Jimin draws his digits out, leaves Jungkook empty before fucking all three back in quickly. A high whine falls past his lips, teeth biting down to suppress the noise because he knows he’s slipping into it all, the heat unbearable and pulsing through his taut body. 

Before he feels himself beginning to snap, which is surely what Jimin wanted, he hears hands rummage for the condom once again. It’s rolled on with ease, the fingers Jimin just used to open him up are slid against his cock, the slick getting him nice and wet. Jungkook tries to keep himself from cursing just thinking about the mere fact that Jimin’s used his slick as fucking lube. 

Jimin lifts Jungkook’s leg towards his chest, presses a chaste kiss to the ankle before heaving it up over his shoulder. With a sigh, Jimin pushes the blunt head of his cock against his ass, sinks in slow, savoring the heat. 

Jungkook feels bent in half when Jimin leans over proper, rests there just like that - balls deep and pulsing. It takes a moment before he moves, teeth tugging at skin, Jimin’s canines scratching raw marks into him. The soft urge for ‘ more, jimin-ah, give me more,’ is kissed away, Jimin fucking in harsh and in quick secession. It’s overwhelming every bit of his senses, stealing his breath away every time the slap of skin sounds. But Jimin is as ravaged as he is, he thinks, with the way he fucks. All teeth and tongue and soft staccato breaths. 

He alternates to something slow when Jungkook clenches down, chasing, chasing. It fizzles his mind but god, it’s so fucking much . How Jimin knows exactly when to take it all away and keep him right on the edge, Jungkook’s noises louder and growing desperate. He was never particularly loud during sex, but he never had someone during a heat. Never been so overwhelmed, either. “I’m close,” he gasps, can feel Jimin’s smile against his cheek. Bastard

“I said I got you,” Jimin repeats, grip digging into the meat of his thigh. 

“Bite me, bite me,” Jungkook begs, fingers clawing at Jimin’s hair, tugging him down into his neck. He’s felt the sharp of his teeth drag against his skin for too long, wants it all. Wants Jimin to commit to all the endless teasing. And he knows that this here, this demand , was probably stemming from the heat, but he didn’t care. Wanted that nick of pain he cranes into. 

Jimin doesn’t need to be told twice, though his teeth move closer to his shoulder to avoid the patch of skin for mating. He sinks his canines in the same time he thrusts in, Jungkook’s eyes fluttering at the instant rush. Alpha bites were particularly euphoric, the endorphins rushing into his body and enunciating every brush of skin. He can hear Jimin groan something deep against his shoulder blade when Jungkook finally  comes, slows his pace so he can ride it out. 

Jungkook’s eyes are blurry with tears, and he should be embarrassed, but his heat has never been so intense. Jimin’s lapping at the wound against his skin, fingers brushing into Jungkook’s sticky hair. Even though he’s fucking into him still, rocking into the clenched feel of his ass, he still offers Jungkook tender touches. “Come in me,” Jungkook murmurs, growing sensitive. It felt good though, the way Jimin picks up his pace with the simple encouragement. “Wanna feel - ah -” 

There’s teeth at the other side of his shoulder, Jimin’s sounds growing more vocal when he bites into Jungkook a second time. His moans shouldn’t sound so much like honey, growing harsher, Jimin’s movements stuttering when he finds his own release. 

His heavy body falls next to Jungkook’s, though he maneuvers them so he’s still pressed into him. It should be gross, probably, with all the sweat and the come filled condom, but Jungkook feels full and good. Whole. The heat isn’t gone, though it’s the most satisfaction he’s had for one. “Are you okay?” Jimin murmurs next to his ear, fingers soothing down his sides. “I should clean up.” 

“Mm, not yet,” Jungkook protests, a huff to his words. Jimin laughs quietly behind him, wraps his arms around him to draw him flush to his chest. Lips press into the crook of his neck, licking up  - careful to avoid the deep bites Jimin’s already left. Jungkook knows they need to be tended to, needs to get Jimin’s dick out of him and hydrate but. 

But

Instead, he turns his head enough to catch the alpha into a kiss, murmuring into his mouth. “Don’t move yet. Just stay with me.” 


Jimin’s smile is soft, genuine, his lips even softer. It’s a stark contrast to before, but seeing Jimin let go for even a moment was reassuring. And even though Jungkook isn’t sure where they’ll go from here, Jimin’s quiet little ‘ I got you ,’ is enough for now. Enough to ease what they’ll have to face soon enough - though hopefully, this time, together.